Is your Netflix stream running slow? If it is, blame Verizon.

Verizon, which owns 50 percent of Redbox, a Netflix competitor, is purposely allowing Netflix bandwidth to get clogged with traffic – slowing down Netflix streams in an attempt to bolster their own video streaming company, at least that was the running conspiracy on the Internet Wednesday.

If true, the motives remain unclear. But some Verizon customers are in fact experiencing Netflix streaming issues because of a behind-the-scenes feud with Cogent Communications, a large bandwidth provider, according to GigaOm.com.

Cogent and Verizon exchange traffic through ports which receive data at speeds of about 10 gigabits per second. When the ports start to cram with data, Internet companies add more ports. In this case, according to Cogent CEO Dave Schaffer, Verizon is allowing the ports to cram on purpose – slowing connections to Netflix.

“Think of it as the on-ramp to the freeway being log-jammed,” Shaffer told GigaOm.

The entire process is called peering, in which the two companies exchange data at ports.

According to the GigaOm report, Verizon has indicated to Cogent that the reason they have not added more ports is because Cogent is moving traffic for a larger video provider, presumed to be Netflix, though Verizon did not name Netflix directly.

Verizon has not directly addressed any questions regarding problems with Cogent and Netflix.

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